The Border Guard Force (BGF) is under the control of the Burma/Myanmar military, also called the Tatmadaw. Because of this fact, BGF soldiers are also given a salary provided by the Burma/Myanmar government, just like Tatmadaw soldiers. However, despite receiving a salary, KHRG still receives reports of BGF soldiers stealing villagers’ livestock. The villagers in L--- village have reported several incidents to KHRG regarding BGF Battalion #1013 Sergeant Saw Hpah Ghaw repeatedly stealing their poultry and livestock, as the BGF army camp is based beside the village. The villagers reported that although the BGF regularly steal their chickens, ducks and goats, the villagers dare not say anything in return as the armed groups are the ones holding weapons.
For instance, on June 15th 2014, BGF Battalion #1013 Sergeant Saw Hpah Ghaw, under the control of BGF Battalion #1013 Lieutenant Colonel Saw Hla Kyaing, quietly trapped and stole Naw S---’s chicken and duck. Naw S--- witnessed this incident herself, but since the BGF have the weapons, she dared not complain to them.
In addition, on June 22nd 2014, Sergeant Saw Hpah Ghaw again stole a 60-year-old U B--- villager’s three chickens and brought them to his army camp and cooked them. Although U B--- was not home at the time, he highly suspects that it was Saw Hpah Ghaw, as other villagers have witnessed similar cases. Furthermore, on June 30th 2014, a villager witnessed Sergeant Saw Hpah Ghaw going to L--- villager Naw P---’s house and steal her three chickens and two ducks. Just like other villagers, Naw P--- dares not to complain to BGF Battalion #1013, as they have weapons.
Because of the abuses described above, the villagers have developed doubts about the ceasefire between the Karen National Union (KNU) and the Burma/Myanmar government, as abuses are still occurring. The villagers are not happy with the fact that state armed groups, such as the Tatmadaw and BGF, receive a salary from the Burma/Myanmar government, but are still stealing villagers’ livestock. Animal husbandry is one way for villagers to receive a small income and is also a way for them to earn their livelihoods.